ANZPT Melbourne: Jordanou flying, Hachem lurking
A new season of the Australia New Zealand Poker Tour arrived today as the Crown Poker Room was once again host to the ANZPT Melbourne Main Event. The tables were buzzing as the cards were in the air at 12:10pm this afternoon to see 186 players take to the felt. It's a healthy number, and despite the Cox Plate expected to dominate sporting attentions tomorrow, we should see enough punters in the room tomorrow to smash last year's numbers.
The locals were out in force with every table containing several players of note with some super-stacked line ups causing havoc for Day 1a of a Main Event. It meant that the casualties came thick and fast as the likes of Tom Grigg, Jackie Glazier, Grant Levy, David Gorr, Heidi May, Andrew Hinrichsen, Patrick Healy and Billy Argyros were among the first to an early exit. Another to fall was Dale Marsland, who won't be adding to the four tournaments he has won over the past two weeks.
As the players dropped away, the contenders started to emerge. Tim Eduard was the early mover after benefiting from a freakish flopped set over set over set situation that eliminated two players in one brutal blow.
Billy "The Croc" Argyros was a late arrival but after his set was cracked by the flush of Didier Guerin, Argyros found his few last chips in preflop with pocket queens against the creative 3♠5♠ of Luke Edwards. The rail roared when Edwards spiked a running straight to see a disgruntled Crocky out the door.
Another late arrival fared a little better as 2005 World Champion Joe Hachem was quick to get his stack moving as he became the first player to crack the six-figure mark.
Hachem went on a heater as he made a couple of straights to crack his opponent's big pairs and rocket up the chip count leaderboard.
Hachem looked likely to be the end-of-day chip leader but was pipped at the post by Billy Jordanou who survived arguably the toughest table in the room to bag up 125,000. Others at the top of the counts include Robbie Stewart (123,400), Minh Nguyen (112,100), Hachem (111,800) and Fabrice Ho (102,700).
Appoximately 80 players survived the day including the likes of Matthew Wakeman, Octavian Voegele, Michael Guzzardi, Paul Khoury, Jesse McKenzie, Leo Boxell, Julius Colman and Luke Edwards.
Check out the live updates section a little later this evening for a full list of chip counts when they become available.
With the Hot Zone in full swing here in the Crown Poker Room on a busy Friday night, we are heading home, but will return tomorrow at 12:30pm to do it all over again for Day 1b of the ANZPT Melbourne Main Event. We look forward to your company then!
If you're thinking about heading to the Cox Plate tomorrow, then we have a community service announcement for you. Watch out for this guy...